Iran will earn four billion dollars less in oil revenues in its next fiscal year if the global oil price slump continues, a conservative MP and economic expert was quoted in the press Tuesday, November 27 as saying.
"If the drop (in prices), which was provoked by the stagnant global economy, continues, the sale receipts of oil for the Iranian state will face a lack of four billion dollars for the next (Iranian) year, said Mohammad-Baqer Nobakht.
Iran, which is the second largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has a fiscal year that begins on March 21. Oil exports account for some 80 percent of Iran's foreign currency revenues. They generated $24 billion in the last Iranian year, compared with a forecast of $11 billion. The 2001/2002 budget was based on an oil price of more than $20 a barrel. With each drop of one dollar in the price per barrel, Iran loses one billion dollars in revenue.
Nobakht, who spoke at a Tehran meeting Monday on the impact on the global economy of the post-September 11 situation, said the "Iranian year 1381 (2002-2003) will not be an easy one for the state." He said the government must adopt a "crisis plan" if the drop in prices on the global oil market continues, adding that the September 11 terror strikes on the United States had caused some $200 billion in damage to the global economy.
Oil prices have dropped by close to 20 percent since September 11. The price of Iranian oil, which had risen to $24 a barrel during the first six months of the current Iranian year, has fallen to less than $20.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh called on non-OPEC oil producers earlier this month to "negotiate and cooperate" to cut world crude production and "avoid a collapse in prices in the months to come." Iran currently produces 3.5 million barrels a day, 2.1 million barrels of which are exported. — (AFP, Tehran)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )